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How to Sanitize and Maintain Reach-In Commercial Coolers and Freezers

Updated: 5 days ago

In the fast-paced world of commercial food service, maintaining a clean and sanitized environment is essential for the success of any food business. When it comes to commercial refrigeration, such as reach-in coolers and freezers, ensuring proper hygiene is of utmost importance to keep perishable goods safe for consumption and maintain the longevity of the equipment.

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Clean reach-in coolers are healthy and safer

What are the Best Ways to Sanitize a Reach-In Commercial Cooler or Freezer?

Have a regular cleaning routine. Developing a routine cleaning schedule is crucial for keeping your reach-in cooler or freezer sanitized. Daily wiping and sanitizing of all internal surfaces, including shelves, gaskets, and door handles, are necessary to prevent the buildup of bacteria and mold. Utilize a food-safe, non-toxic sanitizing solution to ensure the elimination of harmful pathogens while safeguarding the integrity of stored food items.

Allow to thoroughly defrost. Regular defrosting of your reach-in unit is essential to prevent ice buildup, which can hinder the proper functioning of the cooler or freezer. Aim to defrost your equipment at least once a month or more frequently, depending on the usage. During the defrosting process, take the opportunity to thoroughly clean the interior. Remove all items from the unit, and with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent, scrub away any debris or spills that may have accumulated. After cleaning, rinse and sanitize all surfaces before restocking the cooler or freezer.

Steam cleaning! For a deeper and more effective sanitation process, consider investing in steam cleaning technology for your commercial cooler or freezer. Steam cleaning offers a chemical-free solution that not only eliminates bacteria but also reduces the risk of chemical residue affecting food quality. The high-temperature steam can penetrate hard-to-reach areas, effectively sanitizing the unit's interior without the need for harsh chemicals.

Three Essential Tips to Keep Your Reach-In Clean

Organize and label the contents. Maintaining a well-organized cooler or freezer not only ensures easy access to stored items but also aids in keeping the unit clean. Implement a systematic approach to arranging products, grouping similar items together, and using proper containers for storage. Additionally, label all containers and packages with clear expiry dates to facilitate timely removal of expired products, preventing potential contamination.

Make sure your staff understands proper handling. Educating your staff on the importance of cleanliness and proper handling of the commercial cooler or freezer is vital. Conduct regular training sessions to ensure everyone understands the cleaning protocols and the significance of maintaining a hygienic environment. Assign specific cleaning duties to different employees to avoid confusion and ensure accountability.

Check those door seals and gaskets. Faulty door seals and gaskets can lead to temperature inconsistencies, energy wastage, and an increased risk of contamination. Routinely inspect the condition of the door seals and gaskets to ensure they are free from damage or wear. If any issues are detected, replace them promptly to maintain the efficiency and hygiene of your reach-in unit.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a sanitized and well-maintained reach-in commercial cooler or freezer is a fundamental aspect of running a successful food service business. By adhering to regular cleaning routines, employing efficient sanitization methods, and implementing essential maintenance tips, you can ensure the safety of stored products and the longevity of your equipment. A clean and well-organized refrigeration unit not only reflects positively on your business but also provides customers with the peace of mind that they are being served in a safe and hygienic environment.

Call us Tri-Point Refrigeration, Inc

Need help with your reach-in, ice machine, or walk-in? Need some professional insight or help in choosing the right machine for your business? Interested in advice, purchasing, maintenance, or anything else regarding your ice maker? Please don’t hesitate to call us here at Tri-Point–we’d love to be a part of your journey. We’re excited to help you along the way, and with regular servicing, we can keep your equipment running smoothly and healthily, while also extending the reach of your dollar.

For a direct line to any of our teammates ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community. Or check out our website at


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